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Would You Like To Know The Truth? June 1, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Magick & Mystery.
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A few years ago, while sitting in my office minding my own business (since no one else had offered to mind it for me), I heard a knock at the front door.

Through the glass, I saw a wind-whipped stranger standing there with that look on her face . . . the look that says, I’m an evangelist, and I know that you don’t want to talk to me, but please be kind.

I opened the door, and she handed me a pamphlet, entitled “Would you like to know the truth?,” as she intoned, with obvious sincerity, “We are handing out these brochures to every house in . . . ”

At that point, I expected to hear, “the neighborhood,” or “the vicinity,” or “the state.”

Imagine my surprise when she completed her statement by saying, “the World.”

That’s right, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania was busy spreading “the truth” to every household . . . in the World.

Imagine the printing bill!

Imagine the number of trees sacrificed in this noble endeavor!

I thought about inviting her in for a warm drink on a cold day, but decided against extending such an offer ~ after all, she had to be almost as busy as Santa Claus and his elves on Christmas Eve!

Related posts:  Divine Inspiration * Four Worms and a Lesson * Skeptics Welcome

Diamante Diamonds June 1, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Poetry, Word Play.
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Diamante poems are 7 lines in length, written in a diamond pattern. 

An antonym diamante contrasts two subjects, such as Snow & Rain or Day & Night.  A synonym diamante discusses two related things, such as Monsters & Creatures or Writing & Blogging: 


Solitary, Creative 

Rewarding, Challenging, Frustrating

Grammar, Syntax, Punctuation, Publication

Sharing, Caring, Distracting

Addictive, Supportive


Diamante poems encourage students (especially those on summer break!) to play with words while focusing on specific parts of speech.

For more fun with words, including Diamante Diamonds, here’s a link to ReadWriteThink  

Related posts:  The Portable Classroom * Ten FREE Activities To Enjoy With Kids * Ten Almost FREE Activities For KidsTen More Fun Activities For Kids  

Eavesdropping On The Rooftop Literati June 1, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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Not long ago, Garrison Keillor wrote an article about elite, brand name authors gathered together on a rooftop in Tribeca to mingle with wall-to-wall agents and editors while eating shrimp, scallops, and spanakopita.

The article, When Everyone’s A Writer, No One Is, made me smile, just a bit, as Mr. Keillor predicted the imminent demise of the publishing world:

And that is the future of publishing: 18 million authors in America, each with an average of 14 readers, eight of whom are blood relatives.

Average annual earnings: $1.75.

Mr. Keillor, an author with publishing credits under his belt, seems a bit dismayed by the changes occurring in the publishing world:

We live in a literate time, and our children are writing up a storm, often combining letters and numerals (U R 2 1derful), blogging like crazy, reading for hours off their little screens, surfing around from Henry James to Jesse James to the epistle of James to pajamas to Obama to Alabama to Alanon to non-sequiturs, sequins, penguins, penal institutions, and it’s all free, and you read freely, you’re not committed to anything the way you are when you shell out $30 for a book, you’re like a hummingbird in an endless meadow of flowers.

Since he reached the finish line “the old-fashioned way,” Mr. Keillor would prefer the status quo to remain status ~ with published authors rubbing elbows (and making new book deals) with prominent editors and agents on the rooftops of NYC while looking down on the rest of the world.

150px-Carlo_Crivelli_052In the land of status quo, best-selling authors remain best-selling authors due in large part to the name on the cover of the book . . . rather than the worth of the words within.

Past success predicts future success no matter how lacklustre the story.

As a result, works by “elite” authors are snapped up by profit-hungry publishers who know that “name brand” authors sell books.

In the land of status quo, unknown, talented authors remain unpublished . . . and uninvited to rooftop parties in Tribeca.

Mr. Keillor seems genuinely concerned that e-books and self-publishing and internet surfing signal the demise of old school publishing . . . or, as he puts it, the end of “the Old Era.”

And maybe he’s right.

But, as someone standing on the pavement looking up at the rooftops, I find myself thinking, change is good.  

Related posts:  The Power Of Awesome * Austen & Dickens Had It Easy * Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland * It’s In The Mail * Eat, Pray, Love . . . Tie the Knot??? * Why Today Is The Best Time To Be A Writer (Courage2Create)

* * * * *

For more predicted changes in publishing, check out Uphill Writing:  Is This The End Of Digital Publishing?   Instead of having the world wide web at our fingertips, we’ll have . . . well, I’ll let Rik tell you.

And for the Industry Response to Mr. Keillor’s Op-Ed:  Publishing’s Not Dead